You already know this is a review of BIG & little’s, but for the sake of a social experiment, pretend for one second that it’s not. Pretend we are about to talk about a mysterious Restaurant X. Pretend this is meditation, or nap time in kindergarten, and close your eyes and go to an imaginary place.
Restaurant X sits unceremoniously on Orleans St. just north of Chicago Ave. It’s a small and kind of rundown place that blends right in with the old Cabrini Green neighborhood it inhabits, an area long neglected by the public and city alike. And while there’s a small resurgence taking place, this stretch isn’t exactly a hot spot, evidenced by the parking lot next door and car wash across the street. To go along with the random location, Restaurant X has a menu that doesn’t seem to have any direction. All in all, it seems like kind of mess.
And just when you think Restaurant X couldn’t sound any dumber, you find out this is actually a description of BIG & little’s, and Restaurant X TOTALLY REDEEMS ITSELF!
BIG & littles is funky as hell, a great place, and also one of our favorite restaurants around. Great does not mean nice by any means, because it looks and feels like a fast food joint. It’s the fanciest fast food you’ll ever eat though, and the menu offers all kinds of items that may or may not sound like they belong. Burgers - delicious. Standard tacos in corn tortillas - fantastic. Sushi grade ahi tuna and blue crab stuffed to the brim of hard taco shells - crazy good. Giant soft shell crab po’ boys - why not? Foi gras grilled and plated over fries before getting topped with the duck fat drippings - so insane we feel like we’re taking crazy pills.
Restaurants who specialize in only one of these types of foods have a hard enough time making it this good, and BIG & little’s does most of it top notch. We encourage you to order anything and everything on the menu, but check the Food Rundown below for our favorites. Remember to bring cash because it's all they accept, but on the flip side, it's also BYOB. We'll pay BIG & little's in gold coins if they prefer, because as long as they keep cranking out such high quality ingredients and items at low prices, we'll continue to give them all of our money and praise.
Any of the burgers are good, so take your pick of whatever you want on it. Egg, bacon, pineapple, it’s up to you.
Seared and shredded pork with pickled red onion, cilantro, and a mango chutney. Great contrast of flavors with the pork and mango.
A huge portion of sashimi grade ahi tuna packed into a hard shell tortilla, with ginger, chili paste, sesame seed oil, chili aioli, and a soy based sweet sauce. Most sushi restaurants don't serve raw tuna this good.
Fresh and delicious blue crab in a hard shell tortilla, also as fully packed as the ahi tuna.
A big *ss piece of soft shell crab on a french roll with chili aioli and lime juice. Opt for the Lil version if you want one that’s a little smaller so you can try other things.
If you like foie gras, this is a must try, and for $16 it’s a steal. No joke, some of the best foie gras we’ve ever had, and an amount that would be triple the price anywhere else. Two perfectly seasoned and grilled strips of foie gras carefully plated over a bed of twice fried potatoes.